Being able to operate safely and efficiently in deeper waters is key to helping the offshore wind industry expand, helping meet carbon reduction targets. Using floating turbines in high seas will become increasingly essential, as suitable fixed bottom sites will soon become congested in some countries, while others don’t have the luxury of a shallow continental shelf.
However, the harsher environment brings challenges that need addressing. Wind turbine foundations and mooring systems need to cope with more extreme wave and hydrodynamic forces, and the turbines with stronger wind forces.
Our engineers have been helping solve these issues, using physical and computational models to examine the Stinger Keel’s hydrodynamic performance as part of a one-year project funded by Innovate UK. Our simulations showed the wave pressures exerted on the Stinger Keel foundation structure under a range of conditions. Properly understanding and quantifying these hydrodynamic forces is key to a successful engineering design.
Our data and modelling will be used by consortium partners to perform further structural analysis and refine the design. Having determined the most efficient dimensions for the design, construction costs can be calculated, which towards the end of the project will be fed into calculations of the cost per unit of energy produced – the levelized cost of energy.